This weekend is Super Bowl LVII.
This weekend Rihanna will be performing.
The world will be watching a Rihanna concert that will take place in the middle of the biggest football game.
It is colossal. It is Rihanna.
Let me take a moment here.
Rihanna is known as a pop and fashion icon, particularly since her third studio album, “Good Girl Gone Bad.”
I have watched, covered, and attended NFL games for the past five months. Rihanna will be gracing the stage for the first time in over five years.
On Sunday, Rihanna takes the stage at the first-ever Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show.
Apple Music is bringing Rihanna fans new and exclusive ways to experience and celebrate her musical genius as they gear up for the highly anticipated Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show on Sunday, February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, where the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles meet for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
As the clock ticks closer to the big show, fans can experience Rihanna’s music with the deeply enriched multidimensional sound of Apple Music. Starting today, subscribers can access the megastar’s songs with Spatial Audio in Dolby Atmos, showcasing her heart-pumping anthems throughout her career, mixing pop, rap, R&B, and EDM sounds under her ever-expanding umbrella.
“Rihanna is one of the most prolific artists of our time, and we, along with her many fans across the globe, cannot wait to see her take the stage at the first Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “We are excited to celebrate Rihanna and give her fans a new way to experience her music with Spatial Audio, as well as exclusive content from Apple Music.”
There were rumors Taylor Swift would perform at this weekend’s Super Bowl. Swift is the most successful artist of the 21st century, but Rihanna is the most successful singles artist of this century, and I mean hits. She has had 14 no. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, the fourth most of all time, trailing only the Beatles, Mariah Carey, and Elvis Presley.
Apple Music Radio’s Nadeska Alexis will interviewed Rihanna at the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show Press Conference.
“When I first got the call to do it again this year. I am three months postpartum. I asked myself, should I be making major decisions like this right now? When you become a mom, there is something that happens that you can take on the world; you can do anything,” Rihanna said. “The Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world. As scary as that was because I had not been on stage for seven years. There is something exhilarating about the challenge of it all.”
Not only has she not performed live since 2018, but Rihanna hasn’t released a new album since 2016’s “Anti.”
In the years since she’s built a billion-dollar consumer empire selling cosmetics and lingerie, she started a family, having welcomed a baby boy last May with boyfriend A$AP Rocky.
“It is important for me to do this this year,” Rihanna said. “It is important for representation. It is important for my son to see that.”
Rihanna told Vogue in a 2019 cover story that she turned down an offer to headline the Super Bowl that year because she wanted to show support for Colin Kaepernick, telling the magazine that she “couldn’t be a sellout.” Maroon 5 performed with Big Boi and Travis Scott.
Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, which represents Rihanna, made a deal with the NFL to produce the halftime show. That partnership is now in its fourth year. That deal included that Roc Nation would influence some of the NFL’s social justice initiatives, and it has resulted in artists of color headlining the show every year it has been in place.
A possible political statement in the performance would not be a surprise.
“The set list was the biggest challenge. That was the hardest part. Deciding how to maximize 13 minutes but also the celebration of my catalog the best way we could have put it together, Rihanna said. “You are trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes. It is difficult, some songs we have to lose because of that. That will be okay. We did a good job of narrowing it down.”
Rihanna has 14 no. 1 hit songs and 31 top-10 hits. She may not have been busy with music other than being a mother her time invested in her Fenty line of fashion, and makeup will be something to watch for during the show.
“I have been so focused on the Super Bowl I forgot that my birthday is coming up. I forgot about Valentine’s Day,” Rihanna said. “It is a lot of preparation. A lot of moving parts. This is the week that it is being tested. Everyone is tightening up everything. Everyone is dialing in. Everyone is tuning in. A lot of moving parts. 300 to 400 people breaking the stage down and building it back up, getting it out in eight minutes. It is incredible. It is almost impossible.”
Will A$AP Rocky make an appearance? Any special guests? Rihanna will be enough. She will do what she does best: Prove there is a football game at her concert.